Friday, September 11, 2009


Digital image by S. Auberle

for the longest time after 9/11, I couldn't write at all. Finally, weeks later, these words came.

I want to write about Colin Powell's words--we are Americans, we don't walk around terrified. I want to tell him he's wrong. I want to write about times of war--lying in my mother's womb as the skies of Pearl harbor explode; cradling my infant son in the Vietnam years and now, in yet another generation, how that son's twin sons are trying to be born too soon--into yet another time of hate. I want to write about serenity--cottonwoods on the Fox river; turtles and geese and autumn flowers; but the words won't come. I want to write about courage--a new moon high in the sky this afternoon and beside it, a first trail of returning jets. I want to write about hope-- this lily in the window of a house and the promise it holds of peace, but my fingers remain stilled. I want to write of fear--my train trip three days later--the passengers' certainty that World War III has begun. Two women in the seats behind me shoot tequila as we roll across the country, finally collapsing in each other's arms--the brassy one with crows nest hair sobbing against her friend in zebra slippers who colors in a child's book. I want to write about caring--for the large man across the aisle whose very breaths through the night seem each a victory. I need to write about beauty-- the New Mexico sunset-- long shadows sliding down the mesas, as a quarter moon sets in glowing, golden rose. Finally, I want to write of compassion--the hawk-faced Navajo who boards the train in Gallup, sits beside me and removes his glasses, wiping tears from his eyes. I want to comfort him, but do not intrude on the space we share, that space so carefully maintained in sleep. I wake once and look at him, his face softened in sleep--vulnerable, so very, very vulnerable...

~ Sharon Auberle


Blogger Ralph Murre said...

Excellent piece, and good for us to remember not only the violence and hatred of that time, but also the way it brought us to a different understanding of ourselves, as a nation, and as the people of that nation.

8:33 AM  
Blogger Sharon Auberle said...

thanks Ralph,

if only we had held onto those feelings, remembered them today...

8:56 AM  

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